Which lovable, albeit grumpy, Dr. Seuss character is known for saying “I speak for the trees”? If you guessed The Lorax, you’re right! And I’m guessing you share his love for trees, for their beauty and their tremendous environmental value. Our woody friends reduce cooling costs, increase property values, improve air quality, reduce soil erosion, and improve water quality.
And native trees offer even more. They’re more pest and disease resistant, can handle our weather extremes, and are essential to the survival of thousands of species of local wildlife and beneficial insects.
Selecting a native tree
Consider the following when selecting the right native tree for you:
How large will the tree be when fully grown?
How much sun does the planting site receive each day?
How much water does the tree need?
Do you want a tree that produces flowers, fruits, nuts or fall colors?
We’ve made it easier to select the right tree for you by including key details for each of our twelve native trees highlighted below. Let’s start with those that need the most growing space.
We’ve compiled information on the following five large varieties. These canopy trees, which comprise the upper layer of the forest, typically reach heights of 40-90 feet at full maturity. Scroll through the images to learn which tree is right for you.
Need to go smaller? Consider one of these seven understory trees which range in height from 8 to 20 feet at maturity and are generally more shade tolerant.
Each of these native seedlings benefit local wildlife. Flowering varieties provide nectar for bees, butterflies and other pollinators. Berry producing trees offer small mammals and birds a source of food. All are critical hosts for beneficial insects.
Interested in adding some of these trees to your yard or a nearby greenspace? Come celebrate the 46th annual Arbor Day Tree Giveaway on Saturday, January 29, 2022, from 9 a.m. to noon at Rob Fleming Park for free native seedlings. The twelve varieties listed above are available, while supplies last.
You can also bring your tree planting and care questions to our Ask An Expert booth, have your photo taken with The Lorax and Puffy the Pinecone, and visit with experts to learn how to create habitat in your landscape for birds and pollinators.
The best time to plant a tree was twenty years ago. The next best time is now.
Celebrate the 44th annual Arbor Day Tree Giveaway this Saturday, January 25 from 9 a.m. to noon at Northshore Park. The Woodlands Township and community partner, the George Strake District of Boy Scouts of America, will join forces with community volunteers to hand out more than 11,000 native seedlings. Sponsored by the Howard Hughes Corporation, this annual FREE event has given out more than 1.5 million seedlings since 1977 to plant in yards, open green spaces and forest preserves.
This year’s selection includes a variety of native canopy and understory trees. Canopy trees, those comprising the upper layer of the forest, typically reach heights of 40 to 90 feet at full maturity. Canopy trees available at this year’s event are American Sycamore, Green Ash, Loblolly Pine, Overcup Oak, Southern Magnolia, Sugar Hackberry, and Tulip Poplar.
Understory trees range in height from 8 to 20 feet at maturity and are generally more shade tolerant. Eastern Redbud, Possumhaw Holly, Roughleaf Dogwood, Spicebush, and Witch Hazel will be passed out at this year’s event.
Each of these native tree species benefits local wildlife. Flowering varieties provide nectar for bees, butterflies and other pollinators. Berry-producing trees offer small mammals and birds a source of food and many of these trees are host plants for butterflies, providing nutritious leaves for caterpillars to consume.
By planting a tree on your property, in community open space reserves and forest preserves, you help support the reforestation of our community and encourage a healthier environment for the benefit of residents and wildlife alike. Here’s an overview on the value of native trees along with resources for caring for your newly planted tree.
Come early for the best selection of seedlings. Bring your reusable bag to help transport your new seedlings from the park to your home.
For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 281-210-3800
It’s undeniable. There seems to be a universal human response to the majesty of trees. Trees do us a lot of good and not all their benefits are visible by the eye. These benefits are often grouped by their social, environmental, and economic qualities.
(Be sure to see the upcoming Township events that pay tribute to trees listed below.)
One might say that trees help make us happier. They provide a sense of place and when we are in their presence, we feel serene and peaceful. Trees’ calming effects extend to the workplace, where trees can reduce worker stress. It’s also been cited that trees can decrease recovery time after surgery or illness and reduce crime in urban communities. A large, mature tree imparts a sense of majesty, strength, and even awe. This and their capacity for a long life may be why they are so often planted as living memorials to those we love and have lost.
The oldest verified flowering tree is a 2,293 year-old Sri Maha Bodhi Sacred Fig. It is also the oldest human-planted tree, known to be planted in 288 BC at Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka.
People are drawn to shaded parks, pathways, and sidewalks, which in turn encourages social interaction and enhances a sense of community.
Trees improve the environment by moderating our climate from sun, wind, and rain. Sun is absorbed or deflected by leaves and the larger the tree, the greater its cooling effect. In urban environments, trees moderate the heating effect caused by pavement and buildings. Compact foliage and dense tree plantings provide an effective windbreak. Rain and stormwater runoff is not only slowed by trees, but is reduced by the water trees take up by their roots and store.
Improved air quality is another great benefit—leaves filter the air we breathe by removing particulates and pollutants (such as ozone, sulfur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide, carbon monoxide, and lead) and replace them with oxygen. They absorb the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide through photosynthesis. Trees are natural air conditioners that can lower temperatures 6 to 8 degrees by evaporating water through their leaves. Their roots stabilize soil and prevent erosion, and improve water quality by filtering rainwater.
Trees can block and absorb sound, reducing noise pollution by as much as 40%.
Finally, trees provide important food and shelter for urban wildlife, including birds, pollinators, and small animals.
Although determining a “value” of a tree can be very difficult, trees increase in value as they grow. The value of trees is also evident in home sales: homes landscaped with trees sell more quickly and are worth 5% to 15% more than homes without trees. When trees are planted strategically to shade a home, air conditioning costs are lower. And when they form a windbreak they can reduce heating costs in winter.
There is a wealth of native trees to use for landscapes in our area. The benefits of native trees are many and can include colorful spring blooms, fall color, or food and nectar for wildlife. Natives are well-adapted to our weather conditions and soil, and once established, require no supplemental water (except for times of extreme drought).
View and print the list of Trees Suitable for The Woodlands. This list is far from exhaustive, but meant to provide a good sampling of those that can be found at local nurseries and provide special benefits.
Mark your calendar for these events that each in their own way, celebrate trees.
Arbor Day Tree Seedling Pickup
The Howard Hughes Corporation® is excited to host the Arbor Day Tree Seedling Pickup on Saturday, January 26, 2019 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Hughes Landing®. This year, more than 44,000 tree seedlings will be handed out, representing nine varieties including Bald Cypress, Laurel Oak, Live Oak, Loblolly Pine, Overcup Oak, River Birch, Sawtooth Oak, Silky Dogwood and Water Oak.
2019 Community Tree Planting The community will come together to keep the woods in The Woodlands at the fifth annual Village Tree Planting event Saturday, February 9, 2019, from 8 a.m. to noon at Spindle Tree Ponds Park in the Village of Sterling Ridge. Volunteers of all ages are called upon to help reforest our community. Register now!
Creating Habitat in the Garden and Community
Saturday, February 2, 2019 from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at The Woodlands Emergency Training Center. Thisfree seminar will address how wildlife has been impacted by growth and why home and community habitats matter. Learn how to create habitat for butterflies, bees and birds and help them thrive. Register now!
Magnolia, red bay, sweet gum, oak and dogwood trees with dead brown twigs at the tips of the branches may be infested by the black twig borer. This tiny invasive insect is fast-becoming a common pest in nurseries and home landscapes throughout our region. U.S. Forest Service entomologists have positively identified this insect right here in The Woodlands.